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The Marriages in Heaven

Let me introduce you to some truly great wine and food matches (the so-called marriages in heaven). Why not experiment with some of them. I promise you these are well and truly tested. My top twenty: 20. Port & Stilton (alternatively Sauternes & Roquefort). 19. Sancerre &  goat`s cheese. 18. Chablis & oysters. 17.  Côtes-du- Rhône & charcuterie. 16. Thai Goong Paow & Dry Riesling. 15.  Vietnamese fish-soup & Gruner-Veltliner. 14. White Burgundy & Turbot (or Dover Sole). 13.  Chianti &  Puttanesca. 12.   Muscadet Sur Lie & Moules Marinière with French fries (think of Paris). 11. Rioja Reserva & roasted lamb. 10.  Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Gigondas & roast beef (with a meaty gravy), aka Sunday roast at home for a treat ….. 9.  Champagne with Caviar (if you never have, you should try this). 8. Pinot Noir & grilled salmon. 7.  simple Rioja & Paella (or a pale dry Rosé with seafood Paella). 6.  Sauternes with Foie Gras. 5. Zinfandel & Chilli Con Carni. 4. Mature claret & Beef Wellington. 3.  St Joseph (Northern Rhone Syrah) with steak. 2.  Barolo & beef stew. 1.  Nuits-Saint-Georges (red burgundy, Pinot Noir) and rare to medium-rare roast beef or lamb.

Of course for every wine style I could suggest an alternative. There are different ways of doing things. For example, instead of Sauternes and Foie Gras how about the little known Jurançon Doux of 100% Petit Manseng grapes grown in the Pyrenees, together with  Carl Shillingford`s local meat patés – a luxurious way to start a meal,  a fresher more vibrant sweet wine and slightly meatier paté  than Foie Gras, and a whole lot less controversial! Another: instead of Chablis with oysters, Picpoul de Pinet – at 50% less cost it offers similar qualities; true it`s not quite as good, and the best of Chablis is better than the best of Picpoul, but it`s nonetheless a match in heaven.

The Wine Centre, Great Horkesley  Opening hours 10am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday. Telephone 01206 271 236 , email borges@thewinecentre.co.uk

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